How Evara Health, a Florida-based FQHC on a mission to provide quality healthcare for all, leveraged 3 different grants to fund and expand their remote patient monitoring (RPM) program.
In a recent webinar, Howard Rubin, Chief Information Officer, and Marie Menendez, Telehealth Specialist, at Evara Health gave a behind-the-scenes look at the implementation and expansion of their telehealth and remote patient monitoring program.
Hear from Howard and Marie in this 5-minute video clip or keep scrolling to read the highlights of Evara Health’s RPM program implementation and expansion.
RPM Program Funding & Expansion through Grants
In 2022 alone, Evara Health leveraged 29 grant funding sources and projects to implement new technology-oriented projects and expand access to care for underserved populations in their community.
“Grant funding really provides a lot of the seed money that we need for many of our technology-oriented projects such as our RPM implementation,” explains Howard Rubin, Chief Information Officer, Evara Health.
Three major grants have been particularly helpful in supporting the program. The FCC Telehealth grant provided the funding to purchase RPM equipment for patients, as well as the services to go with it. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)'s Virtual Care Optimizing Virtual Care (OVC) grant provided funding to continue the services for the program. And most recently, HRSA's Maternal Health grant has provided funding to expand the RPM program to support prenatal and postpartum moms.
These grants have been essential in helping Evara Health provide high-quality care to its patients through additional services and technology-driven solutions.
Evara Health’s Approach to RPM: Providing Quality Healthcare for All
While grants have played a crucial role in funding the RPM program, it is the organization's patient-centric approach that truly sets its RPM initiative apart.
The remote patient monitoring program is designed to identify and support patients who would benefit most from its services and initially focused on patients with chronic conditions such as COPD, hypertension, diabetes, CHF, and stroke, as well as those with transportation issues. Recognizing the need to expand RPM services to a broader patient population, the team has recently extended its program to include prenatal and postpartum moms with gestational diabetes and other conditions that could benefit from RPM.
A critical aspect of their approach to RPM is a commitment to ensuring that all eligible patients have access to these services, regardless of their ability to pay or their insurance status. Grants have played a pivotal role in making RPM a reality for many patients who might not otherwise have access to this type of care.
By carefully considering patient needs and expanding access to RPM services, Evara Health is delivering on its mission to provide quality healthcare for all.
Advancing Health Equity within Hypertensive & Postpartum Patient Populations Using RPM
This webinar, featuring Evara Health, discusses the latest best practices for improving health equity within chronic care and maternal health patient populations, focusing on social determinants of health and strategies for advancing equity using RPM & telehealth.
Expanding into Maternal Health: Addressing Disparities and Improving Outcomes
With the launch of a new program specifically designed to address the clinical and social needs of high-risk prenatal and postpartum women, the team has opened the doors of its RPM program to support an entirely new patient population. This initiative, funded by the HRSA Maternal Health grant, aims to promote healthy nutrition, reduce racial and ethnic disparities, and improve maternal health by identifying, monitoring, and measuring prenatal high-risk women.
Pinellas County, Florida, where Evara Health is located, is home to many underserved populations, including uninsured and underinsured low-income patients who may be living in poverty, facing homelessness, or struggling with chronic diseases or mental health issues. This community is particularly vulnerable to disparities in healthcare access and outcomes.
Gestational diabetes, a condition that develops during pregnancy, affects approximately one out of ten mothers giving birth in Florida. This condition not only increases the risk of birth complications but also raises the mother's risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life and increases the infant's risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Hypertensive disorders, the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in Florida, account for 15.5% of such deaths in the state. Evara Health's maternal health program is focused on addressing these critical issues and improving maternal health outcomes for underserved populations.
Since its launch in late July, the program has already seen a significant uptake, driven by the recognition of its value by the Women's Health Services Team. This team understands the potential of the program to positively impact the lives of prenatal and postpartum moms and is driving patient referrals into the program.
Lessons Learned and Recommendations for Implementing RPM
Evara Health's RPM journey has been filled with valuable lessons learned and insights that can guide other organizations embarking on similar initiatives.
Hear from Marie and Howard in this 4.5-minute video clip or keep scrolling to learn the key takeaways.
Here are 7 key takeaways and recommendations for successfully implementing an RPM program:
- Embrace Flexibility and Communication: Be prepared to adapt your strategies and approaches as you gain experience and encounter challenges. Establish clear communication channels and keep all stakeholders informed throughout the process. Designate a program champion who can provide leadership and advocacy.
- Define Clear Patient Selection Criteria: Carefully identify the patient population that will benefit most from RPM services. Gather feedback from providers and patients to refine eligibility criteria.
- Develop a Comprehensive Outreach and Marketing Plan: Create a clear and concise script for introducing the program to patients. Utilize various channels, such as clinic announcements, patient education materials, and provider outreach, to promote RPM.
- Gain Clinical Team Understanding and Support: Provide thorough training for all team members involved in the RPM program. Emphasize the program's goals and objectives to foster a shared understanding.
- Establish Equipment Distribution and Support Mechanisms: Offer multiple options for equipment distribution, including in-clinic and home delivery. Provide ongoing support for patients with technical difficulties or connectivity issues.
- Explore Reimbursement Opportunities: Conduct thorough research on reimbursement policies for RPM services before launching a program. Develop a plan to secure reimbursement or alternative funding sources.
- Implement Effective Clinical Monitoring and Backup Plans: Establish clear monitoring protocols and schedules. Have backup plans in place for staff absences or technical glitches. Educate patients on what to do in case of concerning results or technical issues.
The Future of RPM at Evara Health: EHR Integration and Data Management
Building on the valuable lessons learned from implementing its RPM program, Evara Health is now focused on integrating RPM data into its new Epic EHR system to further enhance patient care.
This integration will bring several benefits, including:
- Streamlined data access: Clinicians will have access to RPM data directly within the Epic EHR, eliminating the need to switch between multiple systems.
- Improved patient care: By having a holistic view of patient data, clinicians can make more informed care decisions and provide more personalized care.
- Simplified patient referral and enrollment: New patients can quickly be identified and enrolled into the RPM program directly from the EHR.
As part of this project, Evara Health is carefully considering data management strategies to ensure that the integration with Epic does not result in data overload. This includes evaluating various approaches to data filtering and aggregation to ensure that only relevant and actionable data is incorporated into the Epic EHR.
Evara Health's journey with remote patient monitoring is a testament to the organization's unwavering commitment to providing quality, accessible healthcare to all. By leveraging grant funding, adopting a patient-centered approach, and continuously innovating, Evara Health has successfully expanded its RPM program to reach a broader population and address critical healthcare needs. As Evara Health continues to integrate RPM data into its EHR system and explore new technologies, it is poised to further enhance patient outcomes and redefine the future of RPM.
To learn more about Evara Health's RPM program and how it is transforming patient care, view our full conversation here.
Vision to Virtual 2023 Webinar Series
This year, HRS' annual Vision to Virtual event will explore the proven clinical and business outcomes driven by HRS telehealth and RPM programs and how healthcare organizations can support their staff, scale their programs, and demonstrate results.